Tintabulations Handbell Ensemble – Group Spotlight

Posted By Derek Nance on Sep 15, 2013 |

Editors Note: This is a summary of the Handbell Choir Wednesday series that Tiara Roman posts on the I Love Handbells Facebook page.  Tintabulations also happens to be the group the Handbell Brothers ring with.
In 1996, seven of Barb Walsh’s former students decided they wanted to continue ringing. They formed a group called “B Sharps” and rang two octaves of bells. Inspired by a group called “Tintinnabulations” at the Twelfth Night Handbell Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, the group decided to choose a new name. A misunderstanding of Latin conjugation occurred, and the name Tintabulations was created.

Under the direction of Barb Walsh in Reno, Nevada, Tintabluations Handbell Ensemble has grown into diverse group of ringers committed to the art of English Handbell ringing. A quick glance at Tintab’s roster begins to tell the tale of the group’s diversity, with members ranging in age from 18 to 60+ and commuting from as far away as Lake Tahoe, Carson City, and Bishop, California. The group performs music ranging from classic church hymns to jazz and showtunes, proving that bell ringers from any age or background can turn a simple set of bells into an impressive music making force.

Barb Walsh

Tintabulations Handbell Ensemble‘s director Barbara Walsh is an elementary school music teacher at Lena Juniper Elementary School. She’s an accomplished flutist and handbell player, and is the Handbell Musicians of America Regional Coordinator for the State of Nevada.

Watch this cool and relaxing interview with their director!

Tintab and Their Trial By Fire Auditions

“The Tintab that everyone saw at Nationals is a whole new level that we have only just achieved. When I joined Tintab 8 years ago it was still all high school/college kids that were all Barb Walsh’s students. We do not have an audition process. Our audition is trial by fire. Most of the ringers either we pick up from seeing them play, are friends with one of the members and moves here for school, or are musicians that we train to ring bells. Then we invited them to a couple rehearsals and see if they can keep up (and aren’t too offended by our sense of humor).”

– Derek Nance, member


“Sway” by Pablo Beltran Ruiz, arranged by Sandra Eithum, performed by Tintabulations Handbell Ensemble, and featuring Ben Brown and Elizabeth Cadigan dancing. <— Awesomeness!

It’s no joke when I say that Tintab is everywhere on the web! This is truly what’s changing the face of handbells as we speak. We should all use this as an example, and take some time to look for ways to expand this art, and keep showing the people who don’t know what handbells are, what they’re missing. Also, it’s another way of connecting with other fellow handbell players around the web. It’s great when I see facebook (and any social network) pages of other choirs. It goes to show how much we’ve grown as a community. And if you try to sum up all the likes we all have, it’s an amazing amount of followers! That being said, we’re doing a good job, guys! Let’s keep breaking the barriers and taking names!

Want to know more about Tintabulations Handbell Ensemble? Want to listen to their music?

Their page: http://tintabulations.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tintabulations

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/tintabulations

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/tintabulations

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Tintab

Thanks to Tiara for sharing her posts with us!  If your group wants to be featured, email Tiara at ilovehandbells3@gmail.com.